Tips For Attending Careers Fairs or Open Days

Nov. 23, 2021, 2:12 p.m.
As we approach the new year, now is the time to start planning visits to Careers Fair, or Open Days ahead of choosing your next pathway after Year 11, Sixth Form, College, University or Apprenticeships. Moving onto your next step can be a stressful period, and making the right decision can add a lot of pressure onto yourself if you’re unsure on what to do next. If you’re feeling like this, a Careers Fair or an Open Day may be a useful event to attend.

Careers Fairs are often organised by Schools, Colleges, Universities or Community Centres with the aim to showcase a variety of options for you to look around. Whilst attending a Careers Fair, you’ll have the opportunity to walk around various stands which are presented by a range of companies, further education establishments and training providers. Hosting these stands will often be representatives, either staff members or current students, who are there to provide further information and answer any questions you have. Attending a Careers Fair can be extremely useful if you’re taking a step back and reviewing all of the options available. They can often open your eyes to pathways that you may not have considered before, whilst also helping you to confirm a choice that you may have previously decided on.

Open Days are quite different to Careers Fairs, instead of viewing a variety of options, you’ll have the opportunity to dig deeper into one of your options. This includes walking around the building/campus, speaking to past and current students or employees, viewing all of the options available in terms or courses, qualifications or apprenticeship programmes and potentially attending an interview or assessment day.

Below, our team have shared a few tips to help you get the most out of a Careers Fair:

- If you’re lacking confidence, attend with a group of friends or family members. Keep in mind that this event is to help YOU. Try to look around the stands that interest you the most, and don’t follow a group of people to look at what they want to see.

- Don’t be shy, engage with the representatives. Talking to the people who are there to help you will help you make the most out of attending a Careers Fair or Open Day. You may be able to speak to someone who you can relate to, or someone who has been on a similar journey to you. This can help inspire you, and give you further insight into the options that could be the right choice for you.

- Remember to ask questions. If you need to, you can also prepare questions to ask prior to attending the event. Asking the right questions could impact your decision positively or negatively. Complete research on the company, further education establishment or training provider that you’re interested in before attending, and ask valuable questions that you wouldn’t be able to find out online.

- Show your interest, and prepare a CV to hand over if they’re accepting applications there and then. If you have an idea of your future options, it’s important to make a good impression when meeting representatives from your desired choice. Keep in mind that the people presenting the stand may have an impact on applications or candidates who are accepted. This is particularly important if you wish to progress onto somewhere with limited spaces. Introducing yourself, sharing your interest and handing over your CV may have a positive impact on your application.

- If you’re attending an Open Day, there may be an interview or assessment involved. Ensure you’re prepared by completing research on the company/establishment, gaining an understanding of the course/programme/qualifications you want to do and WHY, and finally keep in mind that you need to be yourself!

If you’re looking for further advice ahead of attending a Careers Fair or Open Day, please do not hesitate to contact our team via the Careers Hub.